Ice Storms Are Behind Us … What’s ahead?

February 4, 2023

What a Week!  Thank You First Responders and Essential Workers

As we are back to clear roads and warmer temperatures, this is a great time to thank the numerous first responders and essential workers who have shown up in tough, often dangerous conditions over the past week. It’s a long list, and we often take these people for granted. So to those of you in law enforcement, emergency services, hospitals and health care, retail, city and county essential services, firefighters, utility linemen and others who helped keep the power going:  we thank you for your service. 

A Productive Week Powering Through Challenging Conditions

 We all learned during COVID how to adjust to meeting through Zoom calls and other means, so even with the bad weather that shut down most of Austin we had a very productive week.  Some were Zoom meetings and others were in person. As I prepare for service on the Education Committee and Higher Education subcommittee, I had meetings with Mike Morath, Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, representatives from the Texas Association of Community Colleges, and Fort Worth ISD Trustees.  To seek input on legislation which impacts law enforcement I met with various sheriffs and police chiefs as well as with the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA).  

My Proposed Legislation:  Reining in Rogue DAs 

As a Justice of the Peace, state representative, attorney and police officer I’ve had the honor of working with numerous District Attorneys across the years; many of them are personal friends. These public servants have a tough job – and my professional respect. We are blessed to have outstanding DA’s across SD 10.  Unfortunately, that is not the case everywhere. 
Case in point: should a District Attorney be able to pick and choose which laws he or she decides to enforce?  Of course not, but increasingly that’s what is happening across the country and even here in Texas. That’s why I have filed SB 404, legislation to provide tools to rein in out of control DAs who categorically refuse to enforce the law. Under this proposal, prosecuting attorneys would be monitored by a newly reconstituted Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council (PACC), an entity with authority to file a petition to remove a prosecutor from office for incompetency or misconduct. Confidence in our rule of law can not be undermined by those who turn a blind eye to crimes and offenses they deem unnecessary to prosecute.

Remembering the Faith of Courageous Trailblazers During Black History Month

February is Black History Month and an opportunity to remember the tremendous sacrifices and contributions made by countless black Americans – and their faith which drove them.  My good friend David Barton of WallBuilders has shared a fascinating document with me. America’s Heroes: Black History Edition is a collection of 20 short biographies that highlights some of America’s black heroes, and it’s a very interesting read. Some of those profiled include a black-owned car manufacturer in early America, a black patriot who was the first double spy during the War for Independence, the first black female missionary from the States who was responsible for educating Hawaiian nobility, and George Washington Carver, born into slavery yet became one of America’s most renowned scientists.  These inspirational stories share how faith was central to so many of these men and women.  Read and review the document HERE

Powerful Legislative Information At Your Fingertips

 With the legislature in session for less than a month, we are still early in the process.  The deadline to file bills is March 10, so bills are still being drafted and submitted.  Still, at the Texas Legislature Online site, found HERE, you can already find a wealth of information to equip you to be a more informed citizen. Here are examples of what you can research at the site right now:

  • What are the various committees of the Texas Senate?
  • Who serves on those committees?
  • How does a bill become a law?  
  • How can I better understand the meaning of various legislative terms? Turns out, there’s actually a handy Legislative Glossary, which you can find HERE.

There are a few bills filed already, but the number of bills filed will dramatically increase in the weeks ahead.  At TLO you’ll be able to learn the bill author, the purpose of the proposed law, where each bill stands in the legislative process and more.  If you have interest in a particular bill, you can even sign up for alerts when there is movement related to the bill you are tracking.

The week ahead

The first meeting of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, where I serve as Vice Chair, will take place next Tuesday, February 7. If you’d like to watch the proceedings, they will begin at 11:00 AM (or upon adjournment of the Senate). Follow along at the following link: Senate B&C Hearing Link

As we enjoy the return of sunshine, have a great weekend!

Phil King
Texas State Senator, District 10

I recently sat down with my good friend, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian whom I’ve known since our days serving in the Texas House together. We discussed how to combat “woke” companies who undermine shareholders and harm the our economy by boycotting the Texas energy industry.